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    A Dermatologist Shared His Skincare Must-Haves With Us And Your Skin Is About To Look Like You Put It Through An IRL Filter

    Anthony M. Rossi, MD, FAAD, gives us his over-the-counter recommendations for getting the perfectly flawless skin of our dreams.

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    In our never-ending quest to find solutions for our various skin issues, we asked Dr. Anthony M. Rossi for his recommendations of over-the-counter products that could work well for troubled skin.


    Dr. Rossi is the assistant attending at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medical College, and the assistant attending at New York Presbyterian Hospital. Through his work, he's found an arsenal of over-the-counter products that may help to ease your skin woes. (But always consider consulting your dermatologist before you introduce new products into your skincare regimen — everyone's skin is unique, and nothing can replace an in-person visit to a professional!)

    Here are a few of his recommendations:

    1. If you have acne, try an exfoliant with salicylic acid, like St. Ives Apricot Scrub.

    In addition to being an inexpensive product, "It's a great exfoliating scrub with salicylic acid as the active ingredient," Dr. Rossi says. Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory that can help treat a variety of skincare issues, including acne, warts, and psoriasis. "Like most treatments, you should gently massage it into the skin to exfoliate but then let it sit for about five minutes so the activated ingredient can be effective," Dr. Rossi says, noting that ideally you'd use a scrub like this about once a week.

    Find it from Amazon for $3.22.

    2. Another great everyday leave-in product with salicylic acid for anyone dealing with acne is La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo.

    Dr. Rossi points out that this dual-action acne treatment uses "salicylic acid and works as a leave-on product." It uses an oil-free formula with benzoyl peroxide and micro-exfoliating LHA to get deep into your clogged pores and clear any blackheads and whiteheads that have decided to call your face home. It's been proven to reduce acne by 60% in just 10 days, and it works for folks with sensitive skin too.

    Get it from Amazon for $20.99.

    3. If you have acne scarring, consider investing in an at-home laser device that uses lower-energy technology, like the Tria Age-Defying Laser.

    Dr. Rossi emphasizes that "it's difficult to take care of scarring with just a topical cream." However, he does recommend the Tria, which boosts collagen synthesis and stimulates collagen production by sending targeted laser beams deep within your skin. "It may be able to give some at-home help if you can't get to the dermatologist," he says. Results may obviously vary, but many have experienced smoother skin, an even tone, and a natural lift after using the product. It can also help provide better absorption of your favorite skincare products.

    Get it from Amazon for $419.

    4. For anyone suffering through the depths of winter and the dry skin it leaves behind, try Cetaphil Restoraderm.

    "It contains ceramides, which help to restore the barrier function of the skin that is lost when the skin is dry and cracked," says Dr. Rossi. "It helps to maintain water in the skin and prevent transepidermal water loss," which is basically just a fancy way of saying it works to prevent the moisture in your skin from evaporating. "I even use this on my face, even though it's a body moisturizer," he adds.

    Get it from Amazon for $14.79.

    5. And if you're looking for a more affordable way to give your skin its daily dose of moisture, try Lubriderm Daily Moisture Lotion.

    "Lubriderm is a relatively inexpensive moisturizer but does the job," Dr. Rossi says. "It has a mineral oil base, which is a humectant and helps to trap moisture onto the skin." Best part: Depending on your skin type, you can use it on your body and face.

    Get it from Amazon for $7.83.

    6. A great wrinkle-minimizing product that's definitely worth the investment is Skin Medica's TNS Serum.

    "It contains growth factors that help to reduce the appearance of fine lines," Dr. Rossi says. Specifically, its main ingredient, TNS(R), has been shown to reduce the appearances of fine lines and wrinkles in clinical studies. It may help to smooth your skin's texture and tone, and also to fight free-radical damage and minimize the appearance of skin discoloration. The product is formulated with naturally occurring growth factors, antioxidants, soluble collagen, cytokines, and matrix proteins.

    Get it from Amazon for $281.

    7. If a wrinkle-reducing solution that doesn't require such a hefty investment is more up your alley, consider a product with retinol, like ROC Retinol Correxion night cream.

    Retinol is a vitamin A derivative, and "retinols and retinoids have been shown to reduce signs of photo-aging and UV damage," Dr. Rossi says. It'll also help moisturize your skin throughout the night and leave it feeling super smooth.

    Get it from Amazon for $23.26.

    8. For anyone with stubborn dark spots, Skin Medica Lytera 2.0 can address discoloration — regardless of skin type or genetic makeup.

    Dr. Rossi recommends Skin Medica Lytera 2.0 because "this is a hydroquinone-free skin-lightening product that uses topical transemic acid, which has been showing good results in treating hyperpigmentation."

    Get it from Amazon for $154.

    9. If you have greasy skin and are prone to acne, try a clay mask to absorb some of those extra oils and get deep into your pores.,

    "An Indian clay mask is good for people with oily skin," Dr. Rossi says. Made with 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, this Aztec Secret Indian healing clay works to rid your skin of excess oil. However, Dr. Rossi notes that "it will be very drying, so I only recommend using clay masks once every two weeks (if oily), or monthly."

    Read more about this mask here.

    Get it from Amazon for $8.73.

    10. Oily skin can lead to a slew of other skincare woes, so Dr. Rossi suggests Differin OTC gel to both treat and prevent breakouts.

    "This was a prescription-strength retinoid that is now available over the counter," Dr. Rossi says. "It helps with acne and oily skin," working deep within your pores to clear existing breakouts and prevent new ones. It's formulated to normalize skin cell turnover, targeting clogged pores and inflammation. With adapalene as a key ingredient, Differin has better tolerability versus other prescription retinoid products, and it can be used during your morning or evening routines. It's been proven to show substantial results in just 12 weeks and gets even better the more you use it. "I still recommend moisturizer on top of this because you don't want to be too dry," Dr. Rossi advises.

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    11. On that note, if oily skin is turning your face into something shiny, try a cream with a matte finish like OC8 Professional Mattifying Gel.

    This gel has a cult following thanks to its eight-hour shine-free skin results. Dr. Rossi says that "this benzoyl-peroxide-based cream has a very matte finish, which helps to minimize oily shine." Using micro-particles to trap facial oils, OC8 reduces shine and redness without clogging up your pores.

    Get it from Amazon for $25.41.

    12. And if you use a toner in your skincare routine, make sure it's of the alcohol-free variety — Thayers Witch Hazel is a good choice.

    "I do like alcohol-free toners, as alcohol dries the skin," Dr. Rossi says. Made with rose-petal water, vitamin E, and a proprietary witch hazel extract, the product helps to soothe and tone.

    Check out a full review of Thayers witch hazel toner here.

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99.

    There's a pretty good chance your skincare routine is about to be next-level.

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